Moist eczema, acute moist dermatitis and hot spots refer to a type of skin infection that is most common in dogs. These circular lesions are commonly found on the head, face, side of the hip and chest. These hairless patches of moist, raw, red and inflamed skin will be very itchy and at times painful. Licking and chewing are natural behaviors of dogs thus anything that causes them pain and discomfort will be constantly worried by the mouth and tongue. A hot spot can start from a flea bite that is constantly licked and chewed by the dog. Hot spots can develop rapidly so that a coin sized itchy spot in the skin can develops into a palm sized raw and inflamed skin with a smelly pus discharge. Pyotraumatic dermatitis is the other name for hot spot purportedly given because this skin infection is worsened by the dog’s self mutilation.

All breeds of dogs can be weighed down by this itchy and painful skin infection but hot spots usually develop in long coated dogs. Hot spots are common skin concerns of dogs living in places where the climate is hot and humid. Although not a long term disease, hot spots have the tendency to recur. Additionally, because of the fur covering, signs of the disease are not easily apparent so that the treatment that could have controlled the development of the infection is oftentimes not administered.

The itchy and painful skin lesions could have started from a simple flea bite. Dogs with histories of food and inhalant allergies, with anal gland concerns and ear infections are most susceptible. Hot spots commonly develop in dogs that are not regularly groomed because the tangles in the coat are perfect breeding places for bacteria.

Spread of infection can be controlled with immediate first aid treatment. Hot spot would not only mar the appearance but would also create immense discomfort for the pet. The hair around and over the lesion must be trimmed to expose the affected skin to the air. This method allows air to naturally dry the raw and infected tissues. A sterile saline solution must be used to clean the lesions daily. To control the spread of infection, a topical antibacterial ointment must be applied to the lesions.

Hot spots have the tendency to recur thus it would be necessary to eliminate the underlying cause of this skin infection. An external parasite control program can prevent flea and mite infestation. Regular grooming will do a lot to prevent the development of the itchy and painful sores.

Want to know more about hot spots and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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